A look at cryptocurrency and iGaming at SiGMA-ICE Asia


Thanks to a number of media sites who didn’t understand the true purpose of cryptocurrencies, or the problems it could solve, digital currencies got off to a bad start in mainstream awareness. It has taken a long time for the negative stigmas to begin to be chipped away, but there has definitely been a lot of progress in the past couple of years. At this week’s SiGMA-ICE Asia digital conference, crypto and blockchain innovation made an appearance, delving into how the technology is particularly beneficial to the iGaming space. Thanks to the coronavirus pandemic, interest in crypto as a legitimate form of payment has now reached an entirely new level across the globe. 

Max Krupyshev, the CEO of cryptoprocessing.com, and Hong Kong Blockchain Association co-founder and co-chairman Tony Tong provided substantial insight into how crypto is making its way to iGaming payment channels. Digital currencies have the ability to provide payment solutions that are unparalleled by any conventional alternative, allowing for both gamers and gaming platforms to resolve purchases and payouts easier and cheaper than ever. This has become even more important as iGaming operators establish their activity throughout multiple jurisdictions, allowing the global reach of crypto to help ease entry into new territories.

Krupyshev has witnessed a strong push toward crypto as a payment solution in the iGaming space. Over the past couple of years, he has seen more interest from operators and crypto now accounts for a quarter of all payments. The percentage could be higher, but people are still trying to understand how digital currencies work, what their advantages are and, of course, overcoming the negative stigma. 

To help combat the latter, cryptoprocessing.com, and other similar payment platforms, are operating very similarly to conventional payment platforms. To adhere to existing money-laundering prevention regulations, crypto accounts have to be verified and the source of the crypto address is confirmed to ensure the legitimacy of the funds. This is a process that is constantly being administered for both existing and new accounts, helping to ensure that any transactions that go through the platform are on the right side of the law.

Digital currencies continue to receive more acknowledgement from both consumers and governments, as has been substantiated by the introduction of several state-backed digital currency initiatives around the world. Tong predicts that crypto will continue to receive more support, especially in Asian countries, and will be on the same level as fiat before too much longer. China has been at the forefront of the transition to digital currencies, driven by the shift from a cash-based to a cashless society in the country. According to Tong, “Even beggars scan QR codes” instead of accepting cash.

Across Asia, especially as the coronavirus has hit the land-based casino industry hard, more gaming operators are exploring online alternatives. Macau still prohibits iGaming, so some operators are moving to other regions where the activity is allowed. Along with this transition, it is becoming more important than ever to transact in crypto, and Tong expects greater integration going forward. Many Asian countries have already implemented responsible legislation and regulations to oversee the crypto industry, allowing the iGaming operators to confidently establish their activities in these countries and embrace the digital currency ecosystem to facilitate an easier launch.